Busy lives, hectic schedules and the need for designated MFF (mandatory family fun) time demand that we carve out a special spot for unwinding, playing, and just plain hanging out. Once dubbed the "rumpus room" or "rec room," today's newfangled family rooms have something for everyone.
The rumpus rooms of my youth were more like padded cells than stylish add-ons to a home (it was usually a subterranean room full of toys and games, lacking in any manner of style, and generally a place where children ran wild and no adult wanted to hang out). The reason it's called a family room today stems from the fact that it offers a little something for everyone (if properly orchestrated).
When revamping my 60s back-split I decided to rethink the layout of the lower level in the hopes of creating a true dynamo of family friendly yet design-minded style. I started by knocking out all two bedrooms and a hall to capture a great open space measuring 15 by 24 feet. Next, I added a walkout to allow an easy flow of traffic from the main floor out to the backyard, pool and cabana.
While I was in the knock down tear out phase, I also re-jigged a three-piece bathroom to create a funky powder room and secondary coat/storage cupboard to support the front entry which is just steps away. Once I'd spent a healthy chunk of renovation budget on the structural changes, it was time to dress it up and get it ready to entertain on a budget.
Compare And Contrast
I only like to do things once. After I've experimented with a colour scheme, I'm not keen to repeat it (after all, where's the creativity and fun in just repeating?) If you are tackling the family room, it means you likely have another living room filled with sofas, chairs, drapes and pillows, so there is no sense in just creating a repeat performance. If the living room is light, why not make the family room dark; If one is muted, why not make the other bold; If one is traditional why not go more contemporary?
I always like my living rooms light and pretty and tending slightly to more feminine shapes and curves, so the family room offers the perfect opportunity for chunky furnishings and bold, masculine colours. This division of dark and light is particularly well suited to this pair of rooms as we tend to be on our best behaviour when hosting guests in the living room and rather, um, relaxed, when slouching on the sofa in front of the TV.